Friday, January 27, 2012

Gibson Girl in the Grand Canyon

Or something like that - Deborah confuses me so.

The Perils Of Newt

Facing a new assault by the rest of the GOP, and an animated Romney, Newt Gingrich is looking less like a World Historical Figure and more like a bit player in Dukes of Hazzard. So, how can he pull himself out of this jam? What demon is writhing around in the minds of Floridians that Newt can exploit that Mitt can't? Illegal Haitians releasing Burmese pythons into suburban neighborhoods? Oversized yachts in Ft. Lauderdale capsizing under the amateur direction of hedge-fund managers who winter in Davos? What?:
Mitt Romney ... went after Newt Gingrich immediately and relentlessly. He scolded him, rendered him momentarily mute, and took answers about other topics and turned them into attacks on Gingrich on key issues like excessive government spending. Romney didn't just have good answers, he looked like a man in command of himself.

...Romney started right away. If a candidate can deliver a strong moment that will run throughout the next day on cable and on local news, he wins the night. You just have to be good once, and preferably early in the evening. Romney had to know that Gingrich's claim that Romney was "anti-immigrant" would come up, and it came up early. He took offense and then took a hairbrush to Gingrich's bottom. He said the attack was "repulsive," called on Gingrich to apologize for the "kind of over-the-top rhetoric that has characterized American politics for too long."

Gingrich, inexplicably continued to defend the sentiment behind the "anti-immigrant" ad that he pulled down and that Sen. Marco Rubio had criticized. It gave Romney a chance to look indignant. This provides us with a quirk of political theater: Romney, who is authentically stiff and robotic in his natural state, looked "authentic" in what was no doubt a staged moment.

Romney also finally gave his best defense yet of his taxes. After Gingrich dared him to explain his Swiss bank account, Romney launched into a riff he'd clearly tried out a few times in front of the mirror. "I think it's important for people to make sure that we don't castigate individuals who have been successful. Let's put behind us this idea of attacking me because of my money."

He was in Gingrich's face all night. He criticized Gingrich for his ambitious plans to colonize the moon. "If I had a business executive come to me and say they wanted to spend a few hundred billion dollars to put a colony on the moon, I'd say, ‘You're fired.’ (Remember just a few weeks ago when Romney couldn’t say the word fired? That’s OK it was Newt he was firing.) "At another time he kneed Gingrich for pandering to local politicians, offering a new project in every state he visited. "This idea of going state to state and promising what people want to hear, promising billions, hundreds of billions of dollars to make people happy, that's what got us into the trouble we're in now. We've got to say no to this kind of spending."

During an exchange over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Gingrich offered a blustery attack on Romney's investments in the two companies. Romney pointed out that Gingrich had identical investments. "Right," was all Gingrich could say, as if being guilty of the charge he had just leveled at Romney were totally natural.

This Most Wretched Of Winters Continues

Some hints of changes around Valentine's Day, but that seems a lifetime away.

Tired Of The Whining Sponges In The Heartland

Tev shared this on Facebook.

People don't really seem to understand this very well. The interior states (mostly Red States) sponge off the rest of the country, and have always done so. There is no good reason for any of them to favor less federal government.

I'm happy to report my home state of New Mexico leads the list. Without the feds, NM would barely exist!

For example, what is the purpose of Albuquerque, New Mexico's largest city? Does it serve a critical function? No. Does it provide an irreplaceable resource? No. Economically speaking, it's a crossroads on the high desert plateaus, and not much more. As far as the rest of the country is concerned Albuquerque could function just as well with 50,000 residents as with 500,000. Without the federal government's direction and interest it would barely have any purpose at all!

As a New Mexico native, I'm grateful to the federal government!

35th Anniversary

Holy mackerel! Today is the 35th anniversary of the date I bought my first car: the green 1970 VW Bug.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Boots And Cats

"54" - Eric Redd

Check out Kelsey B (together with Brooke Brzoska-Ogorek) in Eric Redd's new video! Kelsey looks awesome!

And Eric is such a great singer too!

The Bay Area

Jonathan shared this on Facebook.

President Tyler's Grandkids

Still going after all these years:
Former President John Tyler, born 221 years ago, still has two living grandchildren.

...So, how is it possible that a former president who died 150 years ago would still have direct descendents alive today? As it turns out, the Tyler men were known for fathering children late in life. And that math is pretty outstanding when added up:

John Tyler was born in 1790. He became the 10th president of the United States in 1841 after William Henry Harrison died in office. Tyler fathered Lyon Gardiner Tyler in 1853, at age 63. Then, at the age of 71, Lyon Gardiner Tyler fathered Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. in 1924 and four years later at age 75, Harrison Ruffin Tyler. Both men are still alive today.

...Some context on Tyler's progeny: Jane Garfield (granddaughter of James Garfield) is 99, making her the oldest living grandchild of a former president, even though Garfield took office 40 years after Tyler.

Imagine Tie-Dyed, Or Camouflaged Sheep

Like fluffy colored clouds (via Wicked Thoughts):
The extraordinary sight is causing a sensation at SheepWorld, near Auckland.

Park bosses originally dyed the animals as part of breast cancer awareness week, but it proved to be such a hit with visitors that they decided to keep them as a permanent feature.

Nadal Defeats Federer

Just a killer semi-final match between two gracious and very-evenly-matched foes.

In this video, the net intervenes.

It Doesn't Have To Be Funny

Wednesday evening I was over at Jetta's place, putting together short videos to answer this casting call:
David Katz Productions, a Los Angeles based film and television production company whose projects include “Kissing Strangers” and “The Dispensary” is looking for amateur comedians to join the cast of a new, hilarious docu-series that follows the lives of the amateur comedians.

-Are you the next comedian to make us laugh?

-Are you juggling the ups and downs of life, writing jokes and going to open mic nights?

If you are living to tell a joke, have a unique point-of-view and potential to be the next big stand up comedian, then we want to hear from you!
J.: OK, tell me what you think about this joke:
When I moved from New York to Tucson, I walked into a bar and told the bartender "I want a beer!" He said, "Huh?" So, I told him again, this time louder, "I want a beer!" He said, "Huh?" So I shouted, "I want a BEER!" He said, "OH!"
J.: What do you think?

M.: It's not funny.

J.: (exasperated) Do I have to explain the joke to you? You analyze these things too much! It's because of my New York accent. The bartender couldn't understand my pronunciation of 'beer'!

M.: Your accent has faded over the years. It sounds like you are asking for a beer.

J.: Whatever; let's get to filming. What are you doing?

M.: I'm trying to make this joke work better.

J.: Not now. We've got to start filming.

M.: But my joke is pretty clunky. Besides, you hardly have any material.

J.: Don't you understand? It doesn't have to be funny.

M.: It doesn't?

J.: No. It's all about getting noticed by Hollywood. If they don't think we're funny - and they probably won't - then they can put us in something else where we are better-suited.

M.: But it's a casting call for comedians. It HAS to be funny!

J.: You analyze these things too much! Let's get to filming!

Robin Leach Confirms The News That Studio 54 at MGM Grand In Las Vegas Will Close

This makes me sad. We all need a place in Las Vegas that is simultaneously debauched, and yet easy-to-access for the cost-conscious traveler. Studio 54 filled that need. High-end yet inaccessible clubs may be nice to watch on TV, but can you ever get inside? I wonder what this new venture will be like?:
As Studio 54 at MGM Grand prepares to close after a decade-long run, entertainment and hotel executives this morning confirmed our earlier Vegas DeLuxe stories of the new fine dining and luxury nightlife concept that will open there in December. An Abu Dhabi property-investment company, Tasameem, is partnered in the new venture, the second Middle East group to be involved in Strip nightclub ventures.

As we previously reported, Angel Management Group, which also runs Wet Republic at MGM Grand (and its dozen properties include Pure at Caesars Palace and LAX and Savile Row at the Luxor), will convert Studio 54 into a lavish, multi-story nightclub.

The Las Vegas-based company also has announced a partnership with the London-headquartered global restaurant brand Hakkasan known for its Michelin-starred properties. A Middle East emirates property group owns Hakkasan. Vegas DeLuxe readers will recall that a similar oil-rich money group purchased half of the Light Group nightclub operations at other MGM Resorts on the Strip and also took a major position in the ownership of MGM’s CityCenter.

In a statement released this morning, AMG officials said: “The collaboration delivers an innovative concept evolving beyond Hakkasan’s original restaurant model, incorporating the best elements in dining and nightlife to create an unimaginable experience that will revolutionize the Las Vegas market."

...The new venue, Hakkasan Las Vegas set to open in December, is part of MGM’s “Grand Renovation,” a 360-degree makeover that updates MGM Grand’s guest rooms, casino floor and other entertainment, dining and nightlife experiences. The transformation will expand the size of the former venue, creating an indoor/outdoor space with views of the Strip.

Tax Emergency

Job creators gotta do what job creators gotta do, which is to call the wahmbulance anytime anyone ferrets out the carried-interest dodge:
“All you have to do is look at the former governor of Massachusetts’ tax return — and that’s why this has become an emergency,” Reid said. “Too many families in Nevada and across the country wake up every morning wondering why the opportunities for them and their children are so scarce. Then they look at the top 1 percent and find that they have a tax rate lower than what they pay.

“The system seems to be rigged in their favor ... it’s only fair to ask why people making millions shouldn’t pay their fair share.”

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mina April Minimum Temperatures

I wanted to update a graph I made last year regarding April minimum temperatures in Mina, NV.

The April minimum temperatures are shown (using adjusted data), plus a three-year running average, to guide the eye.

Why Mina? Because it is in central Nevada, with a very low population, and unaffected by urbanization and the urban heat island effect.

Why April? Because April is a rather dry month in Nevada. The greenhouse effect is dominated by water vapor. The effects of the other greenhouse gases will be more evident if water vapor levels are at a minimum.

Why Minimum Temperature? Because the effects of greenhouse gases (other than water vapor) on raising temperature will be more pronounced when turbulence is at a minimum (mostly at night).

Last time, I noticed that temperatures increased sharply starting in the mid-70's, but the HCN Version 2 record ended in 1994, so I couldn't anything more than that. The updated HCN Version 3 record ends in 2011.

Some warming at this location appears evident, but the record looks more-complicated than I thought at first.


3.1 GHCNM (version 2):

Peterson, T.C., and R.S. Vose, 1997: An overview of the Global
Historical Climatology Network temperature database. Bulletin of
the American Meteorological Society, 78 (12), 2837-2849

3.2 GHCNM (version 3):

J. H. Lawrimore, M. J. Menne, B. E. Gleason, C. N. Williams,
D. B. Wuertz, R. S. Vose, and J. Rennie (2011), An overview of the
Global Historical Climatology Network monthly mean temperature data
set, version 3, J. Geophys. Res., 116, D19121,

Oxford Comma Example

Jerry shared this on Facebook.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Newt Gingrich Pointing At Things

I like TPMs meme "Newt Gingrich Pointing At Things Condescendingly", but I think it works better just as "Newt Gingrich Pointing At Things".

No Time Toulouse

A Bunch Of Supercommittee-Failure Chickens Coming Home To Roost

Failure has consequences! And finally the GOP is starting to talk about tax increases!

Ultimately, it all depends on how much we want to pay for our huge military. You can't have a huge military without either a huge deficit or huge taxes:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Monday suggested replacing the $600 billion in automatic defense cuts set to begin in 2013, even if Congress must do so one year at a time.

The defense cuts are looming as half of the $1.2 trillion sequestration that will kick in because of the failure late last year of the congressional deficit “supercommittee” to agree to a deficit-cutting plan.

...Cantor told reporters Monday that he wanted to try to find at least enough in offsets to restore the $60 billion in defense cuts set to take effect next year. He acknowledged that finding cuts to replace the entire $600 billion, spread out over 10 years, would be difficult, given the failure of deficit talks through 2011.

...The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), has already introduced legislation to undo the defense cuts, and has suggested that raising taxes would be preferable to allowing the sequester to go forward. McKeon later walked back those comments, stressing the need for cuts to entitlement programs.

President Obama’s Defense secretary, Leon Panetta, has warned that the across-the-board Pentagon cuts could damage the military, coming on top of $450 billion in reductions that the Defense Department is already planning to implement. Yet the president has threatened to reject any effort to undo the automatic cuts that is not part of a deficit-reduction deal that includes additional tax revenue.

...Cantor has spoken out against the automatic defense cuts since shortly after the supercommittee failed, but his push for replacing them piecemeal, if necessary, is consistent with his skepticism that major legislative compromise is possible before the November election.

“I’m hopeful that we can actually do something this year along those lines. I am also mindful of where we’ve been the last year,” he said in a reference to the repeated attempts on a deficit “grand bargain” that collapsed in the face of the wide ideological chasm over taxes and entitlement programs.

Women, Men, And Pain

Scientific research highlights a conundrum:
A Stanford study sheds new light on the old cliche about women having a higher tolerance for pain than men - according to tens of thousands of electronic patient records, women tend to report much more severe pain than men, no matter the source of the pain.

The study being released today found that when asked to rate their pain on a scale of 0 to 10 - with 0 being no pain at all, and 10 being the worst pain imaginable - women on average scored their pain 20 percent more intense than men.

The results held up across a wide variety of diseases and injuries, including back and neck pain, digestive disorders, sinus infections, and even ankle strains and sprains. In almost every category researchers looked at, women reported more pain than men.

..."If I lined up 10 men and 10 women and I took a hammer and broke their legs exactly the same, the 10 women would report more pain than men. And maybe that's just the way women use the pain rating scale, but even knowing that is important," said Dr. Jon Levine, a UCSF rheumatologist who studies the causes and mechanisms of pain.

Personality Of The Year

Once Newt is President, we'll have to contend with stuff like this:
Fiji's military leader Voreqe Bainimarama has won an apology from the country's free to air broadcaster after it ran a personality competition in which he came second.

Fiji TV subsequently changed the result of the text vote to give Bainimarama the winning personality of the year award and stripping it from the original winner, Premila Kumar of the Consumer Council.

Bainimarama, who ended democracy with an armed coup in 2006 and refuses to restore democracy until 2014, said the poll was undemocratic.

He claimed Fiji TV closed the competition a day early and did not count 1500 votes that had all come in for him later.

Anti-regime blog sites claim those votes came in from two mobile phones used by the military.

Shot Of The Day

Rafael Nadal outwits Tomas Berdych.

Nice Rainfall From The Storms

A total of 2.43" at Sacramento Executive Airport. But we still have a severe deficit to overcome, not much time to do it, and no immediate prospects for more.

Statewide snowfall content is about 40% of average for this date.

The Flyway Project

Flight Path: The Flyway Project from Albuquerque Public Art on Vimeo.

This is an interesting, but long, video regarding The Flyway Project.

On my most recent visit to Albuquerque, NM, I passed by the location on Coors Road, and turned around for a visit, since it looked so striking. Living in Sacramento, CA, I hadn't heard anything about the piece, and so my initial reaction was "WTF?"

I could tell the piece was assembled from jetty jacks, which the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District has long cabled together for flood control purposes along the Rio Grande River. The jetty jacks hail from a long time ago (Bob Wilson says the 1940's, but it wouldn't surprise me if they are from the 1920's, or even older than that). Jetty jacks can hold the river bank together even through heavy floods. So, it seemed disastrously apropos that just as the number of homes in harm's way in the river valley is increasing that people would rip apart crucial public infrastructure in order to make art. It's very 'New Mexico' to do things like that. And it's all in honor of migrating birds too. Who can simply fly elsewhere if inconvenienced by floods.

Apparently a determination has been made somewhere that, because of flood control projects upstream on the Rio Grande River (like Cochiti Dam) that numerous jetty jacks are obsolete, and thus it is appropriate to convert their angle-iron to artistic purposes. I'm not sure I really believe this. Cochiti Reservoir is silting rapidly (it has a 100-year life span and we are already a third of the way through that) and it's always possible to generate flash floods from tributaries closer to town.

Bob Wilson goes on at some length about the approval process for the project. That approval process can be withering, but it's interesting how anxious Wilson felt about it, since there was apparently no public opposition to the project. And it's interesting how no one apparently brought up the subject of floods. People took it on faith that the determination of jetty-jack obsolescence was accurate.

Well, the city may be more-exposed than ever to flood damage, but in exchange we have handsome things like this project to look at. Seems like a fair trade.

Pity The Male Narcissists

Because they suffer:
Men who are narcissists may be at risk for some health problems, since they could have inherently higher levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol even when they're not under pressure, a study finds.

Cortisol, which is released by the body when it's under duress or going through an intense activity, can have some benefits--lending an energy surge, helping the body burn fat, and boosting memory. But too much cortisol from chronic stress can have deleterious effects, such as higher blood pressure, lower immunity and higher levels of abdominal fat.

..."Narcissistic men may be paying a high price in terms of their physical health, in addition to the psychological cost to their relationships," said co-author Sara Konrath of the University of Michigan in a news release.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Progress Of Global Warming


Shared by James On Facebook.

Bill Burr On His Breaking Bad Role

Funny guy!:
Yeah man, I am a huge fan. I watched all the episodes, I’ve never missed one episode, and it was the most surreal thing that I got to do. It’s like, if you were into Star Wars, and they made another Star Wars, and you got to play like Boba Fett or a Stormtrooper, that’s how I felt when I was down there. Without a doubt it was like the coolest thing I got to do. All of the sudden, I was somehow inserted into the storylines of these characters. I knew that obviously they weren’t real, that it’s a TV show, but you know when you get so emotionally invested? It’s like if you booked a scene, like you’re watching the Sopranos and you’re following the story and all of the sudden you are in it and you’re standing next to Paulie and you got a scene with him, and you’re just like, how the fuck did this happen?

Breaking Bad - Several Minor Sites

I’ve had a chance to re-review some of “Breaking Bad” video again. The BB sites that are resistant to analysis are still resistant to analysis, but I’ve been able to puzzle out a few more minor sites.

I noticed there was something odd about the scene where Jesse & Walt meet near the Nuclear Museum. Using Google Earth, I realized that that particular scene can only be had from the roof of the Old Town Parking Garage, 20th & Mountain Rd. NW (Season 2, episode 7, "Negro y Azul").

"We're not charging enough. Corner the market then raise the price. Simple economics."

In addition, I think I’ve figured out two time lapse sequences:

Reverse Sunset, View from base of the Tramway (Season 3, episode 7, "One Minute"). Time Lapse. The new Mormon Temple is visible in the lower left quadrant.

View of Downtown (Season 3, episode 8, "I See You") View of downtown. Time lapse from vicinity of Walter & Marble NE, and taken from TriCore Reference Laboratories, 1001 Woodward Pl. NE.

Oncology Clinic (1), (Season 1, Episode 6, "Crazy Handful of Nothin'").

I generally agree with “WallDruggie” that the Oncology Clinic hallway scene (Season 1, episode 6, “Crazy Handful of Nothin’”) is likely at Q Studios. The wall visible in the distance closely resembles the fence that surrounds Q Studios. It also wouldn’t be a surprise if the Cancer Support Group in the same episode was filmed at Rio Rancho High School, per WallDruggie’s suggestion.

In addition, I have a hypothesis about the peaks visible from Hank’s window as he drives to the Big Chief Gas Station (Season 3, episode 4, "Green Light. The peaks don't seem to correspond to anything in the Zia Pueblo area, or the drive up there or past there, but there are peaks that might work in the general area of La Luz picnic area, at the forefront of the Sandia Mountains, as seen from either Service Rd. 333B or Tierra Monte "). It’s a suggestion, but it’s still a stretch: The “Shield” area of the Sandias doesn’t look quite right.

Alaska - A quien le importa

Interesting history:
Alaska (born Olvido Gara Jova, June 13, 1963 in Mexico City) is a Spanish - Mexican singer, dj, and TV personality famous in Spain and Latin America. She was of the main characters in the so called Movida the cultural movement following the Franco dictatorship in Spain. This movement in which music, arts, cinema and fashion erupted and collided to confirm the actual society Spain had become under Franco. She has participated since the last part of the seventies in several groups of different success: Kaka de Luxe 1977, Alaska y los Pegamoides 1980, Alaska y Dinarama 1983 and since 1989 the duet Fangoria (band). She is also one of Mexico's and Spain's main gay icons.

Her father was a Spaniard exiled during the Spanish Civil War and her mother a Cuban exiled by Castro.

Some years before Francisco Franco died, her parents decided to move back to Spain.

Alaska was a big fan of Lou Reed, T-Rex, etc., but David Bowie was her biggest influence. She even told her mother that she would love to be a boy just to be gay.

Making Sport Of The Rich

Got to put them to some use, after all.

Coast To Coast AM Hitting Closer To Our Problems These Days

There is no better platform than George Noory's Coast-to-Coast AM radio show, but the show often veers into conspiratorial vacuity, and loses punch.

These days, however, the show is hitting important topics harder than ever, and deserves greater attention.

For example, last week:
In a special program, George Noory was joined by Linda Moulton Howe to interview four guests, who appeared in individual half-hour segments, about the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012, which contains controversial provisions such as the holding of suspects without due process or habeas corpus.
And last night:
Muckraker and investigative journalist Greg Palast joined George Knapp for inside details on stories that American media doesn't report, including revelations on Big Oil, and financial "vultures" who use shady practices for mega-profits. He uncovered that two years before the BP/Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf, a similar incident happened to BP in the Caspian Sea off Azerbaijan, indicating that they were well aware of such drilling problems. BP covered up the incident by bribing Azerbaijani officials, and flying them to London for lap dances, he detailed.

Newt Gingrich Wins The South Carolina Primary

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, that old shipwreck Newt Gingrich tapped into that rich vein of conservative victimology and finally prevailed against Mitt Romney.
Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary on Saturday—according to him, not because of his debate skills, but because of his ability to “articulate the deepest-felt values of the American people.” He is bound by few limits in his ability to mold his accomplishments—as a professor, historian, and world leader extraordinaire—into Manichean fights of vast proportion. His oratory references the countless ways in which he virtually single-handedly lifted America from the pangs of unemployment and national calamity.
One thing I've seen virtually no mention of in the punditry, however, is that the GOP presidential race now reflects that centuries-old divide between the North and the South. There are countervailing currents - Northern evangelical (Santorum) and Southern libertarian (Paul) - and even high finance (Romney) versus TV expertise (Gingrich) - but basically it's North versus South. It's not even conservative base versus the elites, as some would have it. Romney and Gingrich both hail from, and speak for, elites. As long as Perry and Cain had fighting chances for the nomination, Gingrich couldn't fight effectively against Romney's money machine: the Southern vote was split. Now, the battle is on!

So, who wins? The GOP's base these days is suburban, first, with a strong anchor in the South, second. With the North turning increasingly Blue, and the northern GOP losing all salience, I think Gingrich ultimately wins. Gingrich, the fellow that my brother-in-law (among others) dismissed contemptuously as a liberal when he chastised Paul Ryan last May for right-wing social engineering, will be able to overcome Romney's millions. What a turn-around!

But Gingrich will prove a poor candidate in November against Barack Obama. Still, it will be a fun campaign!

Gas Pumps Of The Old West

Dyer takes the best photos:
Thanks all, this is an old pump at the Empire Ranch, north of Sonoita. This area was designated the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area in 2000. It is an interesting place and there are big cottonwood trees nearby. (open to the public at all times.)

Lisicki Can't Quite Do It

Lisicki was able to give Sharapova a hard time, but in the end, ruthlessness won out:
“If you played her strengths, if you give her time, she gets a good strike on the ball and can hit a good winner from, any side of the court,” Sharapova said. “But if she can do that for three hours straight, at the end of the match you end up losing and that's just too good. But obviously I was trying to create those opportunities where, maybe she had to go for a little bit more and force the errors out of her.”

...“You're in a quarterfinals stage of a tournament,” Sharapova said. “It's only going to be tough from here.”

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Watching The Australian Open

I hardly ever watch sports on TV, and I never watch the ESPN channel. Nevertheless, channel surfing on Friday evening, I became mesmerized by the 2012 Australian Open: in particular (and not surprisingly) by the women's singles tennis players.

I remember playing a bit of tennis in college. That was fun, but that was a long time ago. Excepting the 'power and strategy' part, it seems to be a distant cousin of dance, and thus quite enjoyable to watch.

One thing I enjoyed was that ESPN's cameras stayed on the players even as they 'relaxed' (if that's the proper term) between games. I was struck by Sabine Lisicki, and her constant focus, focus, focus. She never stopped moving, even at rest. You could practically see the wheels turning in her head. What the life of a champion must be like!

Lisicki's going to play again in an hour against Maria Sharapova. The commentators hinted that Sharapova would devour Lisicki like an after-dinner mint:
Sharapova can’t - and doesn’t - expect things to be so easy in the latter stages. The draw here has put her up against Sabine Lisicki in round four. Lisicki has a game that is well suited to hard courts, and her serve is about as ferocious as any on the women’s tour.

"Lisicki has a lot of power, big serve," acknowledged Sharapova ahead of their clash.

Expect Sharapova to be given a tougher test, but she should progress to the quarter-finals.
I hope this analysis is off-base. I will have to watch!

Night Of The Screaming Rabbit

Bailey the Rabbit has proven to be a fiercely-independent little creature. Since Bailey arrived last June he has maintained a standoffish attitude. In turn, I let him have his space.

Bailey likes to remain in the garage during the day and out in the yard at night. He seeks minimal shelter during rain, preferring to hide under trees, bushes or latticework, even though these obstacles will not prevent a soaking over time. He certainly won't go into the garage during rain, unless it's raining in the daytime. Even the chilly weather of winter hasn't changed his determined attitude.

Fortunately the weather has acted to accommodate Bailey. It's been very dry since June.

But time ran out on Friday evening. Radar showed that the light rainfall of the day was going to change to a fierce inundation as the front passed through Friday night. And nighttime meant Bailey would stay out in the yard, no matter what.

So, what to do with the stubborn inhabitant of the back yard? I decided to bring Bailey into the house to save him from a soaking, if only for a few hours, as the storm swept through. But how to catch him?

I brought out a pet carrier and set about to make a trap. As Bailey hid among the rushes at the end of the back yard I maneuvered a portable fence around him and caged him in against the back fence to the yard. Then, I stepped within the fence and cornered the rabbit.

Bailey panicked. As I grabbed him, he bucked. I hugged him hard to prevent him from breaking his own spine with his kicks. Bailey let out a scream from the very depths of his soul - the famed Rabbit Scream - right into my left ear.

And what is the Rabbit Scream?:
If a rabbit screams or squeals it means it is in pain or extremely scared. Such a scream is often let out when a fatal wound is inflicted on a wild rabbit by a predator.
Hoping I hadn't inflicted a fatal wound I quickly put Bailey into the pet carrier and took him upstairs into the house. I set him in front of the heater vent and let him start to warm up as I started to watch television.

The Rabbit Scream notwithstanding, it appeared Bailey was only frightened, not injured. I shouldn't have been surprised he was a bit of a Drama Queen. Aren't we all, these days?

I opened to door to the pet carrier and presented Bailey with some food, which he nibbled at when I wasn't around. For the most part, he hunkered inside the pet carrier. The storm roared past and pummeled the house.

After about five hours, Bailey had dried out. I went outside, and it looked quiet enough again to release him. I went back inside, and Bailey was no longer in the pet carrier. He had taken advantage of my absence to start investigating the wonders of the living room: chairs, tables, etc. I encouraged him to go back into the pet carrier, which he did on his own accord. I took him downstairs in the pet carrier, and released him.

Somehow I need to figure out how to have a more-normal relationship with Bailey the Rabbit.